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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

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PostPosted: Mon 02 Nov, 2015 7:32 pm    Post subject: Do you know if there is such a thing as a wrist locker?         Reply with quote

What I'm talking about is, is something that you put on your wrist and maybe a good portion of your hand that keeps your wrist locked into place. Your hand essentially becomes part of your forearm with the joint becoming restricted from movement.

The reason I want to know is because I believe this would drastically increase the power of dedicated cutting swords like the old pre medieval type X blades, popular in the viking era. The wrist will actually decrease the power of a cut because it is the weak point in the arm. No matter how strong you are, your wrist will always be significantly weaker than your shoulder.

So if you lock your wrist into place, you get these slicing shoulder power cuts that are much mightier.

Is there such a device that can be used for this? I would imagine it would be used for some other sport or work related.
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

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PostPosted: Mon 02 Nov, 2015 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just remembered something I saw that might be similar. In that bowling movie Kingpin, the antagonist, the jerk with the flower bowling bowl in the last match, didn't he have some sort of wrist support? Is that a common bowlers gear?
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Houston P.




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Nov, 2015 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are correct. I have such a glove to support my wrist when I go bowling, and they are relatively common. My main interest here however is why you would think your wrist would give in your example of a Viking sword. I find that when used in conjunction with a large shield you move your wrist quite allot, and unless you're intending to just try to cleave into the person's protective equipment, which I would strongly advise against, a cut from such a sword would likely not be met with sufficient resistance to cause your wrist trouble. I'm not sure why you would want to restrict movement that drastically with a sword that uses wide sweeping cuts and frequently is in a fully extended position, as such restricted motion would all but abandon the possibility of a cut from the false edge. I guess what I'm trying to ask is are you just trying to teach yourself to deliver draw cuts, such as are used with a tulwar, or are you actually contemplating using that form of cut with a round shield and Viking sword and if so, why?
...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭36‬) To be without silver is better than to be without honor. -Norse proverb
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

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PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 1:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The reason I want to know is because I believe this would drastically increase the power of dedicated cutting swords

I don't agree with this for several reasons. Firstly, as Houston pointed out, you need to move your wrist to use draw-cutting techniques (even more so than in curved swords). Draw-cutting probably increases the effectiveness of the cut more than merely Secondly, above a certain minimum threshold required to do meaningful damage, cutting more powerfully at the cost of control is not really all that important to a trained swordsman, regardless culture or time. Weapon control is much more important in combat than a bit of extra strength, and locking the wrist removes quite a bit of that control, and will certainly make many recoveries and parries after a failed attack lot more difficult to execute. But even when performing cutting actions where more brute force is required (like chopping firewood with an axe or using a pickaxe or hammer), the wrist is not completely locked, nor is this necessary. And I've not heard many (or, in fact, any) accounts of people breaking their wrists by cutting overenthusiastically (although admittedly I've never even considered looking for them).
Of course, if you are only intending to do impressive but martially unsound cutting demonstrations, or have weak wrists that are in danger of being damaged from the shock of cutting, then a wrist-brace or wrist-locking device makes sense.

On a less critical note, perhaps you should look at the pata, or indian gauntlet-sword (if you aren't yet familiar with it, that is). That has an integral and apparently inflexible half-gauntlet which looks as if it effectively immobilises your wrist while wielding it (I've never actually handle one, so I may be wrong, but I doubt it). But they often have relatively slender, straight blades which look as if they'd be slighlty more thrust-oriented (again, if anyone who knows better can correct me in this, please do). Apparently there is some sort of martial arts system with techniques specific to this weapon, so evidently in India something like what you suggested was considered practical for combat use.
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It isn't about power.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Favouring the draw cuts from the shoulder is supposed to be the reason behind the peculiar pommel shape on tulwars.
Here is a relevant video by Matt Easton.

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tulwar hilts and Viking hilts when held in hammer-grip will keep your wrist straight. You can cut with these quite effectively with a fairly loose grip. I don't think there'd be any significant extra benefit from strapping the wrist to support it. Hitting like this will tend to bend the wrist in the direction it has the smallest range of movement in (thumb towards forearm), so there isn't a lot of give there to worry about.

Yes, you lose extension, since it keeps a roughly 90 degree angle between forearm and blade. Use a shield.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Houston P. wrote:
You are correct. I have such a glove to support my wrist when I go bowling, and they are relatively common. My main interest here however is why you would think your wrist would give in your example of a Viking sword. I find that when used in conjunction with a large shield you move your wrist quite allot, and unless you're intending to just try to cleave into the person's protective equipment, which I would strongly advise against, a cut from such a sword would likely not be met with sufficient resistance to cause your wrist trouble. I'm not sure why you would want to restrict movement that drastically with a sword that uses wide sweeping cuts and frequently is in a fully extended position, as such restricted motion would all but abandon the possibility of a cut from the false edge. I guess what I'm trying to ask is are you just trying to teach yourself to deliver draw cuts, such as are used with a tulwar, or are you actually contemplating using that form of cut with a round shield and Viking sword and if so, why?


I thought that was the way they were used. Yes draw cuts, like a tulwar.
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Houston P.




Location: United States
Joined: 20 Apr 2015

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To both Christopher and Timo I would like to ask ( not intending to sound offensive ) what is your experience with Viking age swords? As a collector of historically accurate Viking age arms and armour, I believe that merely holding a Viking sword in a hammer grip and swinging it around a couple of times will remove any thoughts of ever doing so in again from your mind, as it is incredibly uncomfortable. If you should hold it in the manner Matt Easton describes in his most recent videos on the subject where you are holding towards the base of the grip, the pommel sort of hooks your fingers and causes no discomfort whatsoever. This is in spite of the fact my hands are relatively large, being four and a quarter inches wide, and I believe I could use a three and three quarter inch grip if I hold it in the way I just mentioned. Notice that Matt Easton also changed his idea about how they were held after actually owning one. What I said about practicing draw cuts, I meant to practice only that sort of cut, not that it would be done with a Viking sword, but merely as a form of practicing skill. I should have been more clear on that and distanced the Viking sword from the tulwar, as they are extremely different in their use. If you are trying to isolate each aspect of the cut, such as motions from the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, so as to maximize your control over each part of the cut individually and then add them all together then I can understand; however, I do not believe it is a feasible idea to lock the wrist for use of Viking age swords for any other reason.
...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭36‬) To be without silver is better than to be without honor. -Norse proverb
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 01 Dec 2012

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Tue 03 Nov, 2015 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Houston P. wrote:
To both Christopher and Timo I would like to ask ( not intending to sound offensive ) what is your experience with Viking age swords? As a collector of historically accurate Viking age arms and armour, I believe that merely holding a Viking sword in a hammer grip and swinging it around a couple of times will remove any thoughts of ever doing so in again from your mind, as it is incredibly uncomfortable. If you should hold it in the manner Matt Easton describes in his most recent videos on the subject where you are holding towards the base of the grip, the pommel sort of hooks your fingers and causes no discomfort whatsoever. This is in spite of the fact my hands are relatively large, being four and a quarter inches wide, and I believe I could use a three and three quarter inch grip if I hold it in the way I just mentioned. Notice that Matt Easton also changed his idea about how they were held after actually owning one. What I said about practicing draw cuts, I meant to practice only that sort of cut, not that it would be done with a Viking sword, but merely as a form of practicing skill. I should have been more clear on that and distanced the Viking sword from the tulwar, as they are extremely different in their use. If you are trying to isolate each aspect of the cut, such as motions from the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, so as to maximize your control over each part of the cut individually and then add them all together then I can understand; however, I do not believe it is a feasible idea to lock the wrist for use of Viking age swords for any other reason.


I don't have any viking age swords, but I do have 2 swords with blades that are in the same genre, the Albion Reeve and Vigil.
The Reeve is actually quite secure with that brazil nut pommel and it doesn't dig into my wrist at all. The Vigil has more blade presence and has a classic medieval hilt. That sword being swung around vigorously, but under control, is what led me to wonder about wrist lockers, hence the topic.

It's light from at the moment you pick it up, but do a work out with it, that's when I started to notice wrist fatigue. If you had to actually attack a group of people and swing a sword like that with real force as they moved out of the way or blocked it, your swing will start to diminish faster than you will think. I was wondering if it is feasible to lock your wrist to give you more endurance for sweeping cuts.
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed 04 Nov, 2015 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
...but do a work out with it, that's when I started to notice wrist fatigue.

Christopher, how long have you been doing this? And when you say wrist fatigue, does
your wrist merely feel tired and weak, or does it actually hurt, and if so, for how long afterwards?
Assuming you've not been doing this for long, it is not unexpected that your wrist gets tired-
even if you're generally very fit, you're probably using your arm muscles in ways that they are unaccustomed to.
A friend who was a really good squash player tried practising german longsword with me: we were using wooden wasters that were probably slightly lighter than a typical historical longsword, and doing fairly slow drills and controlled sparring, and he still mentioned that his arms were pretty tired by the end of a practise session.
That's part of the point of practise, of course, it will get better with more of the same.
If it hurts, however, particularly if the pain persists some time after a practise session, it might be good
to get it looked at by a medical professional, to make sure you don't permanently damage yourself.
The same applys if I was wrong and you've been exercising with your sword for a long time now, and this is a new change.

As a side issue: Remember that in a viking-era (or slightly later) shield-wall you'll be using your shield more than your sword for defence, so you don't have to constantly cut or parry with it, and you could probably rest your sword-arm for a few seconds at least while using your shield to cover yourself. In an extreme situation (like complete physical exhaustion or losing your shield), your friends in the shield-wall would probably try to cover you while you recover. (I'm not even going into the relative scarcity of swords compared with shields here). Striking out with the sword tends to open you up to counterattack, so you'd probably wait for a really good opportunity before launching an all-out attack - not swing away continuously, which will get you killed. A duel would be different, of course, but also over much more quickly than a battle, and again there'd probably be a good deal of less energetic jockying and dummy attacks to try to find a good opening.
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Houston P.




Location: United States
Joined: 20 Apr 2015

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PostPosted: Wed 04 Nov, 2015 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It can be quite exhausting to swing swords around at first. I would heartily recommend doing the exercises that Matt Easton shows in his videos on solo training drills and if possible, with Indian clubs. That will quickly develop the strength of those muscles and both your speed and endurance will increase by doing so. You could also work your wrists with Dumbbells, which I have had great success with. As far as using sword and shield, Roland Warzecha is the best I've seen so far, though I disagree with his method of gripping the sword, but that is something everyone seems to think differently on. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dkhpqAGdZPc
...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭36‬) To be without silver is better than to be without honor. -Norse proverb
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Wed 04 Nov, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First thing, an ounce of finesse is worth a pound of force. Cutting a man's head off, thrusting in a man's abdomen makes a man just as dead as splitting from collar to hip or disemboweling him. The less effort to achieve the same end, the better. It is vain to do with more what you can do with less. Also, if Viking swords were designed only with drawing cutting it mind, there blades wouldn't be straight, they wouldn't be double edged, and their pommel wouldn't be mostly flat. Their were single edged swords in Viking Times and they did have encounters with people using curved sword, yet neither their doubled edged swords or langseaxes where curved or had disk guards. I don't think you can ignore that. Also, if they wanted to encourage a single type of grip, Viking Swords would have had finger grooves like the swords of their Migration era ancestors did, yet we don't see that.
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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Nov, 2015 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've gotten the impression that locking your wrist is unnecessary, even hindering and have backed out from it. Thanks for the info.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Nov, 2015 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Houston P. wrote:
To both Christopher and Timo I would like to ask ( not intending to sound offensive ) what is your experience with Viking age swords? As a collector of historically accurate Viking age arms and armour, I believe that merely holding a Viking sword in a hammer grip and swinging it around a couple of times will remove any thoughts of ever doing so in again from your mind, as it is incredibly uncomfortable.


If the grip is of such length that my hand holds the sword with pommel and guard snug against the bottom and top of my hand, I find it OK. It the grip is too short for my hand to fit there, I can't hold it that way. If the grip is too long, it can be uncomfortable, depending on what kind of pommel. Holding a long-gripped sword with the pommel tight against the bottom of my hand sort-of works, but I need to grip too tightly to hold it there. Alas, most of my Viking swords are too long-gripped (I've only shortened one to my ideal length). With the ideal grip length for my hand, I don't find it particular uncomfortable (a flat-bottomed pommel with sharp corners can be a bit uncomfortable).

This is with flat-bottom pommels, and pommels that curve away from the grip. Having the grip length right for my hand is more important for flat-bottom pommels. I haven't tried this with pommels with prominent rivets on the grip side of pommel or guard, nor with pommels that curve towards the grip (like some Peterson R and S hilts).

Houston P. wrote:
What I said about practicing draw cuts, I meant to practice only that sort of cut, not that it would be done with a Viking sword, but merely as a form of practicing skill. I should have been more clear on that and distanced the Viking sword from the tulwar, as they are extremely different in their use.


Why wouldn't one draw-cut with a Viking sword? Why should a Viking sword be extremely different in use from a tulwar? Both swords are used with shields, have dedicated cutting blades, are of similar length, and not too different in weight. Draw-cutting in a tulwar-style works fine with a large range of lengths, weights, and blade curvatures (including straight); it doesn't depend on having a strongly-curved blade (many tulwars have only a small amount of curvature).

It's an effective method of cutting, and it should work well with Viking swords, including quite heavy ones (alas, my heavy one (1.6kg) is long-gripped, so not ideal, but I've cut with it in this way).

The alternative functional explanation is, as you say,
Houston P. wrote:
the pommel sort of hooks your fingers and causes no discomfort whatsoever.

There are plenty of pommel-as-finger-hook swords out there, and they work. The finger-hook pommel is useful for draw-cuts in the style of a tulwar. Also for quick rotation of the sword from hammer grip into handshake grip, especially where the pommel curves forward. This is something you can't do with a tulwar hilt. A Viking hilt works for this, with the pommel sliding against the heel of the hand.

So, two ways to use the Viking-style pommel: (a) support the whole base of the hand, in which you'd swing the sword rather like a tulwar, and (b) as a finger-hook, without the wrist side of the pommel against the bottom of the hand, with the pommel moving into the palm, next to the heel of the hand, if you transition to handshake grip. One could use both, depending on circumstance. Not to hard to swap between them. If wanting to draw-cut with hammer grip, (a) is IMO a more secure low-effort grip, but (b) should be fine, too.

One question might be why would the Viking pommel extend both way, if it's intended purely as a finger-hook. Why not a shamshir-style hilt instead? The obvious answer is for symmetry, since the sword is double-edged. So, the same question for single-edged Viking swords. Interesting to note that flat-bottomed Viking pommels are often at an angle, even if the tang looks stout and straight. Deliberate? We can also observe on tulwar hilts, where it is deliberate.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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